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The Pros and Cons Of Top Level Domains

ICANN, the body that regulates domain names, is about to open the flood gates for applications for new top level domains (gTLDs).

From January 12 brands will be able to apply for ownership of domains like .coke, .nike or generic domains like .happiness or .fitness.

The application fee is expensive - a whopping $185,000 but that's nothing when compared to the gruelling application process which will last for up to 20 months.

So the big question is - are gTLDs worth going for?

The short answer is - it depends.

It depends on marketing priorities, the strength of your brand and the depth of your pockets.

If I was CEO of Coca-Cola Corporation, I would have no hesitation in going for the .coke and .happiness gTLDs for all sorts of reasons - protecting the integrity of my brand and opening the door to lots of new marketing possibilities.

If I was Pepsi, I would be writing my $185,000 cheque right now, but I would think long and hard if I were not already a major global or, at the very least, a serious national brand.

If you own a gTLD, you set the rules for its use. You decide who can use it and who cannot. You determine how it can be used and how it can't.

For instance, you decide whether to allocate email addresses to staff only, staff and suppliers or perhaps staff, suppliers, your distributor network and even customers.

Banks and financial institutions may decide to use gTLDs for security purposes while health brands could allocate gTLDs to patients so they can access personal health records.

The application process opens on January 12 and closes on April 12 - so time is short if you want to apply.

If you would like more information or help with the rigorous application process, email me or ring me on 0800 612 9890 if you are in the UK on 1-800 400 3831 if you are in the United States.